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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Fat Tuesday

Today marks the day that many will now make final decisions about how to observe the 40 days of lent which begins tomorrow, Ash Wednesday. Traditionally, some give up chocolate and ice cream, yet others increase prayer time or go to daily Mass. What will you do?

As we make our penitential plans, may we consider possibly including ways to serve the poor? It’s good for the Lenten journey as well as a big help to those who need it most. St. Peter’s in downtown Los Angeles Chinatown serves 150 hot lunches to the homeless each day (except Sundays) from 10:00am to 12:00 noon. If you do volunteer, you can arrive one hour early and help with the preparation of lunch boxes. Check out PATH (Hollywood) and deliver a hot dinner from your own home kitchen for about 25 residents at one of their facilities. PATH allows you to sign up in advance for a specific day and time so you can plan a menu, shop and cook. Also, team up with Saint Paul the Apostle (West Los Angeles) parish for their monthly Friday night “Sandwich Builders.” Bring bread, PBJ, socks, t-shirts and hygiene items for the homeless and help deliver them the next day. From Los Angeles to New York, wherever you live, the possibilities to serve the poor are endless!

Acts of penance remind us of our own broken nature and our need for a Savior. All the while we are opened up to God’s miraculous grace. We receive healing for our own brokenness. Jesus tells us, “Blessed are the merciful, they shall obtain mercy.”

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